Herstory and the cult of true womanhood

Herstory: a vivid documentation of the breadth and

diversity of American women’s achievements throughout U.S. history.

There have been women trailblazers throughout American history; Women have had a profound impact on the intellectual, social, and political development of our society. Buf many of their

confribufions have aone unnoticed. Most people have heard of Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tub-man, Margaret Sanger, and Eleanor Roosevelt. But did you know that a woman microbiologist

discovered the bacterium responsible for undulant fever, which then led to the pasteurization of all milk? Or that a woman patented the paper-bag folding machine to make square-bottom bags (the grocery bag)? Or that a female mathematician’s work laid the foundation for ab-

stract algebra?

Most history passes over women. Our names and faces are missing, our stories omitted or distort-ed, and covered over by an endless masculine litany of kings, warlords, priests (with an occa-

sional queen or concubine — often a woman blamed for ruining everything).

But women have exercised power and determined the course of events and the forms of hu-man culture. Women founded, governed, invented and created. We have been leaders, prophets, scribes and authors, warriors and rebels against oppression, fighting for our rights and

for our peoples.

Girls and women suffer from a lack of knowledge about societies that accord power to women in public life: in religion, medicine. the arts, diplomacy, land management and inheritance. The-se crucial silences and omissions create the demoralizing impression that women have always been beneath men, Which is false.

In classic Eurocentric history, women end up as footnotes to the “main” story. Sandra Cisneros said of the search for Latina heroines, “We are the footnotes of the footnotes.” And yet the herit-ages of women of color, especially indigenous women, supply the most dramatic recent exam-

ples of societies that embraced open female power.


Even the tendency to focus on famous women or rulers is a distortion. We understand more if we expand our vision to include entire groups of creative and honored women, the inventors and clan elders, the healers, shamans, and priestesses. There is a clear interplay between these spir-itual offices and political power inmany indigenous societies.

Power itself has been conceived of very narrowly, as domination, force, and supremacy—top-down command, grasping and seizing goods and grinding down people. despoiling nature. These systems are more than patriarchal; they are colonial and imperial.

Looking past these blinders will give us a broader view of reality, one that takes in female spheres of power: Cultural. Foundational. Political. Social. Economic. Technological. Religious. Artistic. Medical. Scholarly. Physical. Agents of change and transformation.

To compound this absence of women in history, we live in a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms and the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and

sexuality—not in her capacity as a leader. These messages limit children’s ideas of what is possi-ble in the world and can have damaging effects on their self-esteem, health, and the way they

treat others.

While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of positions of Clout jn mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.

How do you believe the exclusion of women from history and the images of women in main-stream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influ-ence in America?

Link of the video- https://youtu.be/Uy8yLaoWybk

Link of the article- http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinnint6.html

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